As communicated via email earlier this week, at this moment we plan to continue the GSA distance learning plan until further notice. GSA leadership and the Board will continue to monitor formal guidance and policy applicable to our school, with our community’s well-being and safety being paramount. We will provide more information about the duration of our distance learning program as it becomes available.

As we extend our distance learning plan into the foreseeable we want to share with you some of the elements we are considering:

  • First and foremost is the care of every member of our community. This includes students, of course, and also parents, faculty, and staff. We are all under significant stress at this moment, balancing unfamiliar roles and conflicting responsibilities. This is true for you, our parent community, and it is also true for our faculty and staff.
  • Every family’s circumstance is different, and every family’s needs and preferences are different. This is true for you, and it is also true for our faculty and staff. As our ongoing distance learning plan evolves we are working to balance these needs and preferences, and to be mindful of the stresses that we are all experiencing.
  • Our plan must meet our students’ basic needs to progress in their learning and to connect with their educational community.
  • Our plan must also be flexible enough to accommodate and support the diverse needs of families.
  • Of necessity, this plan will not be identical to on-campus learning.

Our first week of distance learning has been a growth process for everyone, with the expected glitches and some satisfying successes. We have focused on our core academic content, beginning to establish the routines and practices that will best serve us as we move forward. Being deliberate in how we roll out our program gives us time to gauge how things are working and make necessary changes. Throughout this week teachers have been meeting to discuss their classes and to share ideas and best practices. Using these conversations and your feedback, we will be modifying our schedule for next week. This new schedule will reflect a more realistic sense of appropriate length for online lessons, number of lessons per day, and amount of independent work at different age levels. Your student’s classroom teacher or advisor will be sharing a revised schedule with you before Monday.

Starting on March 30, we plan to introduce elements of our specials program, including PE, art, music, and lower school Spanish. We know that our specials are a beloved and important part of our program, and our commitment is to continue to offer them through distance learning. The lessons teachers will be offering will provide rich content and opportunities for exploration. Understanding that some of you may already be at capacity right now, however, we do not consider these required lessons at this point. Look for communication from classroom teachers, advisors, and specific specials teachers for more information about how and when these lessons will be delivered.